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The Stakes

It is well-known from my posts, that I do not support the candidacy of Senator John McCain for President of the United States. Other people have equally strong reasons for their dislike of Governor Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, or Congressman Ron Paul. Still others hope against hope that their chosen leader will yet join or rejoin the contest, such as those who say they will write in former Senator Fred Thompson's name in their primary. Opinions, and emotions, have been strong among Republicans. To a point, this is all to the good, as such debate sharpens understanding of what our party stands for, and why. We will not choose a Republican version of John Kerry, just because someone has declared that he is the 'most electable'. But that virtue only works to a point.

I believe that after today, the contest will still be in dispute, though someone will win the most of the contests decided on February 5. But it is entirely possible that McCain will dominate the primaries so strongly as to make it near-certain that he will win the nomination, or that Romney's surge over the weekend will spur him on to a stunning advantage, or perhaps even Huckabee will produce a surprise as he did in Iowa. Regardless, after today Republicans will have to begin to come to grips with the coalescing of the ticket. There will be sharp disagreement on certain key issues, which simply cannot be glossed over, yet we must never, never forget that Hillary or Obama in the White House will certainly be worse than anything we would see from a Republican President. Whether or not we get a candidate who excites us, the lessons of 1976 and 1992 warn us that we cannot risk a Democrat in the White House, given the candidates they put up on their ticket.

The problem is, the Republican candidate - no matter whom he is - does not have the automatic right to support from the people who disapprove of him and disagree with his policies. All of the candidates still in the race on the Republican side have made statements to the effect that they are the most Reagan-like of the candidates. They should remember 1980, when Reagan took care to address the concerns of all Republicans, and to give fair hearing even to those opinions he did not share. Whether McCain, Romney, or Huckabee, the candidate who wins the nomination must understand that double-talk or arrogance will not win over the Republicans not already on board, that no matter who wins the nomination they have a lot of work to do to mend fences, and that healing the divide in the party must be the top priority between winning the nomination and beginning the general campaign. Taking party support for granted only insures defeat, and the hardest truth is that no matter how much America needs a Republican President, the Republican candidate cannot win the White House simply by claiming the race is over and the party owes support to him, or by ignoring valid criticism and complaint. No one will be compelled to put away discontent or doubt of a candidate they did not support, so Reason alone may hope to settle the dispute. The party nominee, whomever he is, must be bold enough to stand against the Democrats' onslaught of attacks and slime, yet must also be humble and open to the concerns of his whole party.


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Comments (80)

Obvious point. The questio... (Below threshold)
epador:

Obvious point. The question is, who is more likely to do so? I think DJ's man is, sad to say.

On the other hand, Fred cou... (Below threshold)
epador:

On the other hand, Fred coulda been a contenda.

This is one of the most mat... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

This is one of the most mature things you have written in a while. I have listened to people saying that if McCain wins, it will be as bad as Obama or Clinton winning and so let the democrats take the hit. I understand the sentiment, don't agree with the political wisdom of that and feel that even if right such thinking is putting the good of the party before the good of the country. Those should not be seperate things.

Look at McCain, Obama and Clinton's votes on Alito and Roberts and tell me that it wouldn't matter which is president. This election could well decide if we add another Alito and/or Roberts to the court or do we add another Ginsburg and/or Breyer.

Look at McCain, Obama and Clinton's votes on running away in Iraq and tell me that it wouldn't matter who is president. This election could decide if we return to a US that responds to terrorism the way we did after the first WTC bombing or the USS Cole, or do we continue to actively fight against terrorists and the regimes that support them.

There are absolutely issues that I disagree with McCain on. Substantive issues that can have a real impact on this country (though it is questionable if they would have as big of impact as 2 more solid constitutionalist judges on the supreme court or surrendering to the terrorist). But when I go down that list of substantive issues, I don't see that I would agree with how Obama or Clinton would address those issues. There, I would look for a solid core of republican senators who could block bad laws on those issues from a president of either party.

My first choice will not be president ... period. I have to accept that. I can't cry about what could have been. I have to make a rational examination of who still can be president. Then make the best choice for the country. What I won't do is let my personal dislike for someone drive me to hurt the country as part of a temper tantrum or to make a stand on issues that I wasn't able to persuade my fellow republicans on. On those issues, I will re-examine if it was the messanger or the message that failed to persuade and work towards the next election cycle.

Well said, y.a.j. ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Well said, y.a.j.

"that no matter how much Am... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

"that no matter how much America needs a Republican President"

DJ, I'm about as much of a partisan Republican and Bush supporter as anyone at Wizbang, and I am proud of being so. However, even I can understand that America can easily tell the GOP to go to hell in such a manner that the GOP looks forward to the trip, if the GOP has that overall attitude.

America does not need, or even want, a Republican president. We have to show America why one is important to the future of the country. It's all in the sales pitch. And let's stop persisting in this notion that Rush, Sean, Laura, Hugh, and a few other radio talk show hosts are in the business to help in this sales pitch.

Given the alternative, Brad... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Given the alternative, Brad, America does need a Republican in the White House.

It's not as if we have a choice anymore.

Brad,I agree with ... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

Brad,

I agree with you that America doesn't "need" a republican president. What we need is the best president from among those who have a realistic chance of winning. We don't get to choose between an ideal and reality, but just within reality. And the reality is that Obama or Clinton will do a lot more damage to the country than any republican still running.

Well spoken, DJ. (also well... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Well spoken, DJ. (also well spoken, yetanotherjohn)

I think that during this (exremely long) primary season, we/I have been treated to plenty of negativity about all the candidates. I am having to remind myself that even if McCain is the (R) candidate, he will be strong on some issues that I agree with- and that the other choice (Obama/Clinton) will be bad for the country.

The sad news for me, is that my state's primary (MS) falls in early March, and the contest will most likely be decided at that point.

I have developed a distaste for the way we do primaries here in the US. I don't feel well represented- thanks to open primaries and caucases in a few states, my preferred candidate is already out. (As is my 2nd choice... etc.) I know it would never happen, but how about the idea of a natn'l primary? Still held on the state level, but every state holding its primary within, say, 2 weeks?

I know it would never ha... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

I know it would never happen, but how about the idea of a natn'l primary? Still held on the state level, but every state holding its primary within, say, 2 weeks?

That makes some good sense to me. The way we have it now, a few states basically decide where things are going, and then the rest pick from the shrapnel. I understand the fact that the candidates need to go to all these states, but it seems to me that he actual voting could occur AFTER all the campaigning so that every state gets an equal voice in the matter.

Very sober assessments, bot... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

Very sober assessments, both DJ and yaj. If only all the nomination conversations could have been so sober. But it hasn't and there has been a consistent theme to the party loyalty argument. It is one of the reasons that many are determined to hold fast and vote, or not vote at all, according to their principles. Many of the party loyalty arguments, most strongly at the big libertarian blogs, were preceded (for years) and are now accompanied by derisive attacks on Christians and their beliefs. The same websites that produce, or approvingly link to articles that sneeringly mock Christian symbols and beliefs, are often the same websites that are telling Christians to take what they can get (and vote Big R), which is more of the same treatment if they do so.
Which brings up a second point. A HUGE block of Christian, especially Catholic, voters in America are natural democrats. They changed over to the Republican Party after they saw a shift in the Democratic Party toward increasing villification of themselves and their beliefs. Christians don't object in principle to paying higher taxes if it is to assist those less fortunate. Many of the Democrat's principles are their principles.
In the end, why pay off the anti-Christian/libertarian wing of the Republican Party with an anti-Christian victory. The Dems might be worse in that regard, but they are better (if inept in administering) at advocating for the poor.

Posted by:

I haven't posted for quite ... (Below threshold)
steak111111:

I haven't posted for quite some time but here's my take....

I REFUSE to allow the big-money Washington insiders to steal this election (and I don't care if they are big-government liberals or big-business liberals (of either party).

WHAT THE 527's DID WAS TOTALLY UNETHICAL and INEXCUSABLE. THEREFORE, in November - I will vote for Mike Huckabee NO MATTER WHO the Washington insiders choose....

onlyhuckabee.com

The Republican Party has be... (Below threshold)
mantis:

The Republican Party has been destroyed (or at least severely maimed) by so-called conservatives who are anything but. Rallying around whatever "anyone but the Democrat" candidate you end up with will not help, as independents and true conservatives now see through the charade.

Funniest video I've seen all week. If you can't see why, you are the one of those destroying your party.

1976.1992.<p... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

1976.

1992.

Remember those elections, Mantis. Please remember the results from them.

Mantis,I can under... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Mantis,

I can understand your argument. In 2004, I felt that the Dems were running an "anyone but Bush" candidate that ultimately failed for them (while still gathering quite a number of votes).

That's what gives me a little bit of a sick feeling this year- I'm not as actively voting FOR my favorite candidate, I'm left picking who I DISlike the least- the "at least he's better than candidate x" candidate.

I remember them, and not wi... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I remember them, and not with the rose-colored glasses most "conservatives" look back on the last seven through. The American people are sick of your shit.

I would prefer a more balanced government, with the two parties sharing power (things went reasonably well under that arrangement for six of the Clinton years), but all you "conservatives" went ahead and turned the Republican Party into a disgusting mockery, so it's best if you have no power for awhile until you can rejoin the civilized world.

You reap what you sow.

Mantis can't simply be hone... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Mantis can't simply be honest. He is openly supporting the shit from the Dem sewage. The Dems are in the liberal sewage wrt the civilized world, yet Mantis has no qualm supporting Obama for example. Wish he could be more honest, unfortunately.

BTW, the Rep primary is wha... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, the Rep primary is what it should be, it is about difference about ideas. It is an example of real diversity and democracy where people fought about cherished ideas and convictions.

Look at the dem party, no diversity at all. It is mainly about identity, race, and class warfare. Lieberman is kicked out of the party for disagreeing with them on one single issue. Lieberman didn't even try the McCain style of insulting the base repeatedly for example. In fact, outside of the GWOT, Lieberman is a full fledged liberal. The left is running like a communist party which allows no disagreement. That 's the garbage with Mantis would rather choose. I would be ashamed to be a liberal today.

Spite is illogical, sir.</p... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Spite is illogical, sir.

Will you listen to PresidentReagan on this?

"When I began entering into the give and take of legislative bargaining in Sacramento, a lot of the most radical conservatives who had supported me during the election didn't like it.

"Compromise was a dirty word to them and they wouldn't face the fact that we couldn't get all of what we wanted today. They wanted all or nothing and they wanted it all at once. If you don't get it all, some said, don't take anything.

"I'd learned while negotiating union contracts that you seldom got everything you asked for. And I agreed with FDR, who said in 1933: 'I have no expectations of making a hit every time I come to bat. What I seek is the highest possible batting average.'

"If you got seventy-five or eighty percent of what you were asking for, I say, you take it and fight for the rest later, and that's what I told these radical conservatives who never got used to it."

(ht Anchoress, http://theanchoressonline.com/category/dont-try-me-too-high/ )

LAI,Do you read Ri... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

LAI,

Do you read Right Wing News? Here's John Hawkins' "thought of the day."

Have you ever noticed how similar the liberal views of change and diversity are?

The liberal view of "diversity" is a black guy, a white guy, and a woman all espousing the same ultra-liberal ideas as they run for the Presidency.

On the other hand, the liberal view of "change" is a young, black guy espousing the same ultra-liberal ideas that old, white guys like Ted Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, and John Kerry have been pushing for years.

Pretty much sums it up, don't you think?

I too am severly disappoint... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

I too am severly disappointed in the race so far. It is so obvious that the media is championing McCain. I do not care for McCain but if he is the republican nominee, I will support him and when he becomes president I will support him. I considered not voting just to "show them" how disappointed I was until I realized I was hurting them, I was hurting my country. ww

I see, Mantis. so, peopl... (Below threshold)
mantis:

I see, Mantis. so, people who will vote for your candidate if he persuades them but whose candidate you reject because he is not a "true conservative", are a "disgusting mockery" to you, and somehow less acceptable than President Carter's policies and appointments, President Clinton's policies, and appointments, and a Democrat-controlled Congress?

No, the Republican Party has become a disgusting mockery, mostly because they don't give a shit about conservatism, social, financial, or international, and thus have abandoned their supporters (some, but not all, of this has to do with their steadfast support and hero worship of the anti-conservative president currently in the White House).

The fact that the fevered egos on the web and talk radio have rallied around a candidate who has done a complete 180 on many core conservative issues, pretending and proclaiming loudly that he is the "true conservative" and McCain is nothing but a liberal (with some notably sane exceptions-Joyner, for one), is a big sign that your party is dying.

And your Reagan quote goes directly to my point. If you believed what he said you would not support the opportunist from Massachusetts who is so clearly full of shit to normal people but feeds the fake conservatives the right lies--er, lines. Romney is Reagan? What a joke.

And I never said anything about voting for "my" candidate.

And I never said anything a... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

And I never said anything about voting for "my" candidate.
----------------------------------
Since you cannot be honest about who you are and what you really believe just like Hillary and Obama.

Republican primary is a battle of ideas now. Only the ignorant and dishonest would not see that. The rest of your stuff is the usual cheap spin that has been dealt with before.

Any honest liberal with a good conscience would not vote for the Dem party, especially Hillary and Obama given what we know about them.

"(some, but not all, of thi... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

"(some, but not all, of this has to do with their steadfast support and hero worship of the anti-conservative president currently in the White House)."

Mantis, you are aware that the "anti-conservative" Bush did win TWO terms, right? And you are aware that anything more than one term (with the possible exception of LBJ) as president implies that Bush was a somewhat successful president, right?

You can call it hero-worship, if you'd like, we just recognize a successful and steadfast president when we see one. Just as history will see one.

Mantis cites: "I see, Manti... (Below threshold)
mikem Author Profile Page:

Mantis cites: "I see, Mantis. so, people who will vote for your candidate if he persuades them but whose candidate you reject because he is not a ..."

Small point, but there must be a filtering mechanism at work. I don't see that anywhere.

DJ, I understand what you s... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

DJ, I understand what you say about the alternative. But you can't solely bang the drums against the alternative, either. You have to state what you bring to the table.

Nothing much to add except ... (Below threshold)
DaveD:

Nothing much to add except to say this is a great thread to read. Thanks DJ. And Mantis, by your last post I can only assume you want the Republicans held to a higher ideal than the Democrats. Am I clear on that? At least you feel the Republicans (conservatives) have ideals to betray. I think you don't believe even this about the liberals.

Mantis cites: "I see, Ma... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Mantis cites: "I see, Mantis. so, people who will vote for your candidate if he persuades them but whose candidate you reject because he is not a ..."

Small point, but there must be a filtering mechanism at work. I don't see that anywhere.

DJ deleted the first part of his comment, for some reason. I quoted the entirety of what he deleted.

BTW, McCain has done 180 de... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

BTW, McCain has done 180 degree on a lot of stuff. Again one major problem with McCain is that he went out of his way to insult the conservative base while currying favor with the liberals and MSM. Look at how he cozied up with Hillary while attacking Romney with spin (ie lies). He attacked his fellow Reps, who agreed with him on the war, more ferociously than the liberals, who disagreed with him 100%. Mantis cannot be honest enough to bring these up as usual.

Brad,Mantis, yo... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Brad,

Mantis, you are aware that the "anti-conservative" Bush did win TWO terms, right? And you are aware that anything more than one term (with the possible exception of LBJ) as president implies that Bush was a somewhat successful president, right?

Well, the idiot Democrats ran John Kerry, who's just as bad as Romney on the other side. In any case my measure of success is somewhat different than reelection against a total buffoon.

DaveD,

You don't seem clear on much at all.

In fact, Mantis, let me use... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

In fact, Mantis, let me use a Boston sports metaphor to describe the situation to you:

Jeb Bush is not walking through that door!
Ronald Reagan is not walking through that door!
Arnold Schwarzenegger is not walking through that door!

You sell the country on what you have, and what you bring to the table. You don't sell the country on who's the most perfect conservative, no matter what Rush tells you.

(BTW, those of you who recognized Rick Pitino's little rant while coaching the Boston Celtics, take a bow!).

Well, the idiot Democrats r... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Well, the idiot Democrats ran John Kerry, who's just as bad as Romney on the other side.
-------------------------------------
This is just another dishonest spin as usual. Romney was the governor of Mass. He turned around the failing Olympics. Ran a successful business. John Kerry 's accomplishment is being married to a rich woman. Again, Mantis is not honest enough to see the difference.

So if it comes down to McCa... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

So if it comes down to McCain vs Clinton or Obama what choice do conservatives have?

Some argue that conservatives should vote for McCain because of Supreme court nominations. The problem with that argument is that no one knows what type of judges McCain would nominate. Even if he picks someone with a seemingly conservative record, that doesn't mean they stay conservative once appointed, as we have seen with some of Reagan's appointments.

What about the war in Iraq? In a year's time it should be mostly resolved with reasonable stability and many of our troops withdrawn. If not, we gave it our best shot and we probable should leave anyway. Not even Clinton or Obama will rush to disassemble our shrinking involvement if it has been and is still working a year from now.

Global warming: McCain is just as clueless on this issue as Clinton and Obama.

The Economy: McCain is just as clueless on this issue as Clinton and Obama.

If we have to have a liberal president I would rather have one who wears the label. I figure the fastest way for conservatives to regain power is to let liberals have a go at it.

While McCain is not my firs... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

While McCain is not my first choice, I will vote FOR him because I trust he will do a better job selecting supreme court jurists and fighting the war on terrorism than Obama or Clinton. If the democrats had put forward someone who would have done a better job in those areas, then I would hold my nose and vote for them.

The fact that I can't say that McCain won't be for everything I think is important is true about every candidate who I have ever voted for. The fact that you can't vote FOR every aspect of every candidate is simple reality. I didn't like voting FOR Reagan given his divorce. But I could look at the whole candidate and conclude he was the better person to run the country than Carter (I admit that wasn't a hard decision to make).

Likewise, look at the whole candidate (McCain, Obama, Clinton, Romney, Huckabee) who gets both parties nomination. Who is going to be the best candidate for the country. Not who is going to be the one I agree with 100%.

Get a grip on reality and don't act like a liberal who wants a utopia because they don't like the reality presented to them this year.

If you think the GOP is losing its way, then start working now for 2012/2016. But don't cut off your nose to spite your face.

Sorry for the confusion, Br... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Sorry for the confusion, Brad. When i realized Mantis was not a Republican but just another hater of the Republicans, I deleted my first section from the comment to make it relevant to him. Where Mantis is concerned, 'spite' is really all one needs to note.

"Republican primary is a ba... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

"Republican primary is a battle of ideas now. Only the ignorant and dishonest would not see that. The rest of your stuff is the usual cheap spin that has been dealt with before."

Is it ignorant or dishonest that intellectual and media conservatives have different priorities than the base this year? Is it ignorant or dishonest to mention that the bloggers and talk radio hosts are using the "ideas" to beat the base senseless, against the base's own interests?

If you can determine who I'm "supporting" based upon those comments, go get 'em!

Brad, It is importa... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

Brad,
It is important to point out the facts about McCain in the primary. Nothing wrong about that. McCain went out of his way to insult the base and stab his party in the back for his personal rapport with the liberal media. That is the truth. Outside of the GWOT, don't know what else is conservative about McCain including social issue. Did McCain go out of his way to aid a supporter of partial birth abortion in CA 1-2 years ago?

McCain has been acting as if he doesn't need the conservatives to win election. I can wipe my nose to vote for McCain, but with every spin McCain used to attack Romney (compared to his cozying up to the dems) makes me more and more comfortable.

Mac, suppose Iraq is stabil... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Mac, suppose Iraq is stabilized and we pull out almost all our forces. Then, say in 2010 Iran invades Iraq and Iraq asks us to reinforce their army.

Would you still say it does not matter whether a Republican or a Democrat would be sitting in the Oval Office?

As to judges - I agree, we don't know for sure what we'd get with McCain, but with Clinton or Obama, for sure we'd get another Ginsburg. You want that on your conscience? And by the way, looking at their age and health, 2 or 3 justices are likely to be replaced by the next President. Does it still sound like a good idea to give Hillary or Barack the call?

A good question is whether ... (Below threshold)

A good question is whether anyone will have the guts to inform who ever wins the nomination exactly how many people held their nose before marking the ballot in their favor?

And if someone does make them understand that, will they take it to heart that their nomination, or their possible winning of the general election, does not mean that all votes cast for them were a defacto approval of their policies or philosophy?

All too often even the loser walks away with the smug conclusion that the votes he was able to garner were in support of him rather than a significant number of those votes just being against the other guy. John Kerry is a prime example. And even after having been marginalized by those in his own party more than once since the '04 election, he still doesn't get it.

And take Nancy Pelosi's mantra after the mid-term election; "The American people have spoken!" The problem is, she doesn't have a clue what they said.

John McCain is superciliously enjoying the praise he's getting for his ability to "reach across the aisle". But somehow, he can't seem to reach out to his own party. He has this crazy notion that his stance on the war is all he needs to appeal to conservatives.

As much as Jay praises Romney for what he claims was "an effort to minimize damages" with Mass.'s health insurance debacle, I am uncomfortable with him too for the simple reason that he touts it as a great accomplishment.

Does this mean I should try and conform to Mantis' nebulous definition of being "normal" and vote for [whatever candidate he endorses but refrains from naming] because I'm not smart enough to see what he sees?

Whatever. All the look-down-your-nose-at-the-stupid-person remarks won't matter to me.

Loooking at their age and h... (Below threshold)
914:

Loooking at their age and health, McCain would be as likely to be replaced as any SCJ.

Huckleby and Mclame collude ( cheat ) in Virginia to screw conservatives again..McLame can go to hell! the sooner the better.

Good point Oyster. Thanks ... (Below threshold)
epador:

Good point Oyster. Thanks for trying to bring the thread back to rational discourse after a slight episode of school-yard mudslinging.

Sounds like "My Dad can beat up Your Dad" taunts above you, substituting Party for Dad.

The political process of our democracy allows folks, once elected, to do whatever they damn well please until they are either impeached or not elected the next term. That's the part that makes deciding between two unpalatable choices difficult.

I thought of making some food intolerance metaphors (especially after the earlier post about 8th graders), but I'll leave them to your imagination.

Oyster:And if s... (Below threshold)
ryan a:

Oyster:

And if someone does make them understand that, will they take it to heart that their nomination, or their possible winning of the general election, does not mean that all votes cast for them were a defacto approval of their policies or philosophy?

I think this can be applied across the board, and that many politicians should consider this reality. People are rarely voting for their ideal candidate, yet those elected conveniently ignore this. And that's why so many politicians--on both sides--are missing the boat.

Our decisions during elections often reflect a long series of concessions and lowered expectations--at least that's my experience.

I think that both Republicans and Democrats can identify with that whole process. Unfortunately, in the end, both sides basically end up voting against one another, rather than FOR anything. Maybe not always, but pretty often. I think that happened with Dems in '04, and seems to be the case for Republicans this time around.

914,It is looking ... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

914,

It is looking like the Huckster and McCain are in it together, doesn't it?

Huckabee is really really working for that VP slot, isn't he?

DJD,I don't think ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJD,

I don't think Clinton or Obama can guarantee another Ginsburg any more than Reagan could guarantee picking conservative judges. Given McCain's liberal lapses and a likely democratic controlled Senate, there's not really any conservative choice here.

McCain, Clinton or Obama; the U.S economy is likely in for a major decline.

National defense is an issue, but McCain or not, the American electorate has no stomach for protracted conflicts. There's simply no long lasting political will in this nation to engage in any conflict we can't resolve in a few months. Yes, we are going face such issues, but without steadfast and full support of the American electorate no President is going to be able to bring the full power and influence of the U.S. into action. The legacy of the 2006 elections is that America is likely in it's last decade as a super power.

If we have to have a liberal president I would rather have one who wears the label. I figure the fastest way for conservatives to regain power is to let liberals have a go at it.

C'mon now, Mac. Are you ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

C'mon now, Mac. Are you really saying that a Democrat Congress would not give a Democrat President a Liberal SCOTUS Justice?

Let's be realistic, here.

And you just plain ducked the Iran question, didn't you?

Look, I can't stand McCain and would like very much to see him lose out in this race, but if it's him or a Donk, I will support the man who at least remembers his oath to protect the narion.

"Thanks for trying to bring... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

"Thanks for trying to bring the thread back to rational discourse after a slight episode of school-yard mudslinging. Sounds like "My Dad can beat up Your Dad" taunts above you, substituting Party for Dad."

Epador, I hate to break this to you, but every Presidential and mid-term election ever held can be broken down to this level. You see, the one thing that both the Republican Party and the Democratic Party can bring to a person, more than anything else, is Identity. A sense of "I'm with the team," no matter what the issues of the day are. This is something that bloggers, Rush Limbaugh, even National Right to Life, can never quite come close to doing.

In the history of the Republican Party (formed in 1854 in response to the passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The GOP swept Congress that year, BTW), there have been only two times where large segments of the party membership felt alienated One of those was in 1912, when Teddy Roosevelt went Bull Moose and took a bunch of states with him.

The other was in 1964, where John McCain's Senate predecessor Barry Goldwater sent a whole bunch of well-behaved Republicans over to LBJ when he defensively stated "Extremism in the pursuit of Liberty is no vice. Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." Was he totally wrong in doing it? While he did bring certain issues to the forefront, and helped bring conservatism to its feet, all he did was show that he wasn't willing to "wait his turn." Nearly all Republicans since 1944, with the exception of Eisenhower, "waited their turn" when it came to running for President.

Huck a fee is really workin... (Below threshold)
914:

Huck a fee is really working for that VP spot alright Conservachef. so that He and His liberal buddy can legalize the illegals in the vain hope that they will vote for future RINO candidates and build the UNITED STATES OF NORTH AMERICA.

McCain as a national security candidate is a canard. at the same time Hes the Gitmo inmates best hope.


DJD,I expect the D... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJD,

I expect the Democrats will increase their majority in the Senate. Given that likelihood, I'm saying that McCain is not going to give us a conservative justice, either because he wants to appease the Democrats or because he has to appease the Democrats. Voting for McCain because you hope for more conservative supreme court justices is a pipe dream.

I didn't address your Iran question directly because it's only one of many such conflicts the next President may face. My response is general in order to address many such scenarios. For example, what would we do if China invades Twain? If my opinion is correct then Twain should make the best deal then can now, because there's no way the U.S. is going to intervene military even if McCain is president. The American electorate has no stomach for protracted conflicts. I doubt even McCain could send troops back to Iraq on mass if Iran launched an invasion.

I think the U.S. is in for some significant failures and nasty events that McCain can't prevent without conservatives in control of congress. I believe that letting those who call themselves liberals take the blame for these things is the quickest way to change the course of this nation to a conservative direction. Better to take the risk that the American electorate can be shocked into action then to watch the country continue to sink into the liberal slime.

"Better to take the risk th... (Below threshold)
Brad Schwartze:

"Better to take the risk that the American electorate can be shocked into action then to watch the country continue to sink into the liberal slime."

Ah, another person who thinks they have a leg up on the competition for chief Hillary-basher come 21 January 2009.

Mac, I have to say your ans... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Mac, I have to say your answer is disappointing. There are more than just Conservative and non-Conservative judges out there. While I also worry that a President McCain would lack the guts to nominate another Alito, I know he would not nominate another Ginsberg. You cannot honestly say that an Obama or Clinton appointment would not be much, much worse than any McCain appointment.

Same for the military. Donk Congress, RINO Congress or born-again Reaganite Congress, it's the President who makes the first go/no go decision, and I hope that even you have not gone so far in McCain-hate that you would deny McCain's patriotism. Yes, he is completely wrong on a bunch of issues, but a traitor, McCain is not. We must be very clear on that point.

I also must take issue with the 'when the Liberals screw up, the public will wake up' meme. That will never happen, because it never has happened yet. It is patently obvious that Bill Clinton was an abject failure as President, yet there are tens of millions of Americans who would happily vote for him again if they could. Carter nearly destroyed our military, but he gets treated as an almost Gore-like deity almost everywhere he goes.

Don't wait for the American people to wake up and realize Conservatives are right. The Liberals will scream to drown out the message, and the MSM will blame the Right no matter what happens. Carter did not cause folks to vote for Reagan, Reagan caused folks to vote for Reagan. Clinton did not bring about George W. Bush, Bush did that.

To win, you need a message of hope and purpose, and a unified party. The Donks won Congress in '06 with a pack of lies, but they were unified.

You may hate it, but you must learn it.

Better to take the risk ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Better to take the risk that the American electorate can be shocked into action

They already have been. You're looking at it. The Republicans have shocked them into an upcoming Democratic majority in both branches.

Btw, here's the Pew favorability numbers for Republican voters. Republicans like McCain more, by a wide margin. Republicans who are voting for Romney like McCain more than Huckabee. Republicans who are voting for Huckabee like McCain more than Romney. Face it, McCain is your party's candidate. The non-conservative conservatives on the web and talk radio may be buying Romney's shit, but the rest of the party ain't. Romney is Reagan about as much as Reagan was Custer.

Well waddaya know, Mantis i... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Well waddaya know, Mantis is good for something. He just proved my point in my 4:59 comment.

DJ, You are right. ... (Below threshold)
LoveAmerica, Immigrant:

DJ,
You are right. The Cliton and Obama shit is Mantis 's stuff. He is just not honest enough to admit it.

DJ:Sorry to come i... (Below threshold)
kevino:

DJ:

Sorry to come in late about this, but your last comment is off the mark in many ways:

RE: Senator McCain appointing judges.

Like Mac, I don't trust McCain to appoint good judges because he has not demonstrated any understanding of the Constitution, and he has demonstrated a remarkable desire to compromise in order to get along. The most likely result is that McCain will put forward a name, the Democratic Congress will throw it back at him, and he'll "settle" for something just to get along.

Would it be worse than a Democratic President? Probably not, but it's only a shade or two different.


RE: Military

The Democratic Congress can pull the plug on a military deployment by killing it the budget.

RE: "It is patently obvious that Bill Clinton was an abject failure as President."

How do you figure that? After 1994 President Clinton took over many of the GOP proposals and adapted them for his own. A balanced budget, good economy, and ending "welfare as we know it" make him very popular. His worst error was not recognizing the terrorist threat, but the public isn't blaming him entirely.

RE: "Carter did not cause folks to vote for Reagan"

I disagree. President Carter was a total disaster, and the public knew it. The biggest thing against Carter wasn't the military. It was the economy.

RE: "The Donks won Congress in '06 with a pack of lies, but they were unified."

The Donks won because the opposition party was inept, corrupt, and didn't offer the American people anything more than to back an unpopular President - particularly to continue an unpopular war.

DJD,As bad as Ruth... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJD,

As bad as Ruth Bladder Ginsberg is, conservatives are not going to be frightened into voting for McCain on mass based on the pipe dream that he will be able to get true conservatives appointed to the Supreme court. The only way to achieve that is to gain the majority in the Senate and the Presidency at the same time.

Yes, it's the President who's commander and chief of the military, but even Bush could not have gone into Iraq had he been opposed from the start by the majority in congress. You haven't come to grips with the results of the 2006 election yet. McCain would be powerless from his first day in office until his last. The only reason Bush has been able to hold the line is because the troops were already deployed and the Democrats didn't what to make a strategic military mistake before the presidential election. Once that's over the troops are coming home regardless of who the President is. Our best hope for Iraq is to get it stabilized and make significant troop reductions before 2009 and have a plan in place to get us out. If so, then even Obama or Clinton would be reluctant to change it by too much. It's either that or cut and run in 2009, McCain or not.

Trying to wake up the American electorate is a risky plan, but it's the only move that can undo the course this nation was set on by the 2006 elections. Sorry to say, but the American electorate needs to suffer the consequences of abandoning Bush while we are at war with a devilish foe. Having McCain as the President when payment comes due defuses and dissipates the lesson. If your contention is correct that the American electorate can't be socked into changing course then electing McCain is like rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Best then to just enjoy the ride while it lasts.

They already have ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
They already have been. You're looking at it. The Republicans have shocked them into an upcoming Democratic majority in both branches.

True, but I expect what's coming will make the perceived shock delivered by the Republicans seem like a taser compared to the electric chair. No point having McCain as President and confusing the lesson.

Mac Lorry:I agree ... (Below threshold)
kevino:

Mac Lorry:

I agree with several of your points. In particular, I agree that the American public has had enough of foreign wars and wants to pull back into an isolationist mode. I think it's a gross mistake, but I think that's where the majority wants to go.

I also think that the biggest thing on the public's mind is economic security, and I think that the country is headed for hard times.

I also think that all of this talk about supporting Senator McCain is basically a waste of time. McCain is going to lose very badly.

Even if the GOP comes together like never before, the number of people who consider themselves to be Republicans is lower than those who consider themselves to be Democrats. On top of that, there are huge numbers of new voters, people who have previously stayed away from the polls, who are going to vote for the woman because she's a woman. In Electoral College votes, McCain will be lucky to get double digits.

We are heading into a recession. This is going to be known as the "Bush Recession" or the "Second Bush Recession". The GOP candidate will be slaughtered.

After the American public rejected the GOP at least in part due to the widespread scandals in Congress, the GOP nominates a man involved in the Keating Five scandal.

In a change election, the GOP is putting forward an old man who has been in Congress decades.

McCain-2008 looks a lot like Dole-1996

Still ducking Mac. I never... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Still ducking Mac. I never said McCain would appoint conservative judges, but you're apparently not honest enough to admit that a judge who is not conservative may not be an ultra-lib, either.

You trash the GOP, you buy a Lib.

And as much as I hate to defend McCain, it's a bald-ass lie to imply he would duck a fight to protect America.

History is screaming to anyone who studies it, that giving in to Libs ALWAYS is the worst decision.

If you want to fuck over something, find a prostitute, don't do it to America.

kevino-the McCain/... (Below threshold)
Rory:

kevino-

the McCain/ Dole comparison is actually pretty weak-

Dole was running against an incumbent.

The incumbency factor is something the punditocracy would like you to ignore because they are enamoured with the idea of "convincing" you to vote for Hillary.

Just what do you think Hillary with Pelosi and Ried to help her write the "rules" would do to republican chances to win anything back?

Well the last time Democrats had all three power sources the Republicans were out in the wilderness for almost FIFTY years.

Hillary and Co. would make sure that Republicans never saw power again-IN YOUR LIFETIME.

In other words you could be DEAD before the Conservative Comeback.

You need an example of how large a factor incumbency is-

Carter as bad as that economy was still had -


40% of the electorate vote FOR him.

Dang DJ... (Below threshold)
the struggler:

Dang DJ

unless you are an unusually... (Below threshold)
Rory:

unless you are an unusually young whipper snapper maybe you could outlive the Clinton/Pelosi/Reid- Rule Changes...

DJD,I see you've l... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJD,

I see you've lowered the bar on your responses by resorting to personal attacks.

What I have been saying is that it's delusional to think McCain is going to prevent another Ginsberg (if there is another) from getting on the Supreme court. The man is liberal at heart and famous for making deals with the Democrats. Given a Democrat majority in both the House and the Senate, McCain is likely to give the Democrats a Ginsberg in exchange for something he wants. He doesn't have the reputation as a maverick for nothing.

I'm not implying McCain would duck a fight to protect America. What I am saying is that he would lose that fight given the results of the 2006 election. In the end, America won't be protected regardless of McCain, Clinton and Obama being President.

If electing McCain can't change the course the nation is on, then there is no reason to vote for him.

Also Republicans making the... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Also Republicans making the argument that they can leave the "important stuff" to be filibustered and therefore "protected" by the Republican Senate-

Are you serious?

You do know that very few things can be filibustered....

Mac Supreme Court ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Mac

Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President.

Say what you will about McCain but you cannot tear apart his voting record for over twenty four years of supporting Conservative judges.

Also if you guys are so willing to toss the military to Hillary and that DRAWDOWN then you don't think much of them and you are willing to render their sacrifices null.

Pretty gross.

RE: "Dole was running again... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "Dole was running against an incumbent."
Senator Dole lost because he appeared to be an old man with old ideas who was out of touch. He lost to an incumbent who was much younger, sharper, and wasn't part of the Washington establishment prior to his Presidency.


RE: "Just what do you think Hillary with Pelosi and Ried to help her write the "rules" would do to republican chances to win anything back? Well the last time Democrats had all three power sources the Republicans were out in the wilderness for almost FIFTY years."
How about a repeat of 1994? In 1992 the public put in one-party rule. After considering what President Clinton wanted, the public pulled his fangs and voted his party out of office in Congress.

RE: "Hillary and Co. would make sure that Republicans never saw power again-IN YOUR LIFETIME."
And how will they do that?

I suppose, for starters, they would grant amnesty to millions of illegal voters, creating a huge new voting block for Democrats. Oh, I'm sorry, that's also part of President Bush's and Senator McCain's game plan.

I suppose they could pass laws that restrict Freedom of Speech. Oh, right, McCain-Feingold.


RE: The power of incumbency: Carter still had 40%
So what? He got creamed. It was a huge defeat for him.

Mac:"The man is liberal at ... (Below threshold)
the struggler:

Mac:"The man is liberal at heart and famous for making deals with the Democrats."


BULLSEYE

DJ, if I understand your co... (Below threshold)

DJ, if I understand your commentary correctly, you're saying that "whoever" the presumptive nominee is (**cough cough**), he'd better be willing to "mend fences" (**cough cough**) -- a noble and true statement.

But one can't mend a fence while those on the other side are pulling stakes at the same time.

Rush's ridiculous claim that McCain is "using" Bob Dole is a good example.

So let's just hope that if -- if -- McCain is the one that comes out of this despite the well-orchestrated and coordinated attacks of Limbaugh-Coulter-Graham-Hannity-Savage-Severin, you can convince all of them that -- with all due respect -- McCain's offer of unity (assuming he offers one) should reciprocated.

So far you're not getting much traction here with the idea.

Rory,Supr... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Rory,

Supreme Court judges are appointed by the President.

Supreme Court judges are nominated by the President, not appointed. Remember Robert Bork? If the President's nominee is not confirmed by the Senate they don't get on the court. With a strong Democrat majority in the Senate McCain is likely to wheel and deal like he is famous for doing.

Also if you guys are so willing to toss the military to Hillary and that DRAWDOWN then you don't think much of them and you are willing to render their sacrifices null.

So you haven't come to terms with the 2006 election yet. When you do you'll realize that if we still have a large number of troops deployed to Iraq in 2009 they will be coming home regardless of who the President is. The only way that would change is if Republicans regained the majority in congress in this next election. How likely is that?

Well how did we lose the Ho... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Well how did we lose the House and the Senate?

It was stay at home Conservatives or Conservatives that believed that Conrad Burns was really going to go to prison, or that Jim Webb was a Conservative.

kevino-I'm trying ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

kevino-

I'm trying to read your response but basically I think that the immigration issue was just an excuse for the Old Isolationists to bail on National Security Republicans and the military.

An excuse to save face for the abysmal act you want to commit.

i.e. that is to cut and run from the military effort one that you only supported as long as it was a "winner".

Look at the National Review William F. Buckley was against the war almost as long as Obama was.

If you want to follow those nuts go right ahead but when Gilchrist could not even win a "special election" in heavily Republican Orange County-the writing was on the wall.

Well how did we lo... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:
Well how did we lose the House and the Senate?

Iraq was the issue that put the Democrats into power in 2006. The American electorate doesn't have the stomach for a protracted war. McCain or not, our troops will be coming out of Iraq in 2009.

Whelp could be but the situ... (Below threshold)
Rory:

Whelp could be but the situation on the ground is ever changing and who knows what the conditions will be.

Protracted war?

Ummm we are still sitting on the DMZ in Korea.

My father fought that in the 50's.

btw-we still have guys in Germany....Japan....

BTW-How do you know it was the war issue?

The polls told you?

The polls paid for by the media....

The same polls that said Obama "won" New Hampshire.

The issue in 2006 was te no... (Below threshold)
the struggler:

The issue in 2006 was te non-stop pounding of the Mark Foley story.(no pun intended).

I know Wavemaker, but it ha... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

I know Wavemaker, but it has to be said.

Especially when some Conservatives are actually arguing in favor of a Donk President.

As if History is not very clear about just how bad an idea that is.

'Personal Attacks', Mac? Hardly, just speaking to you in your language, seeing as you ducked the adult discussion.

Let me ask you honestly, and once again, I speak as someone who cannot stand McCain's politics since 2000: Do you think John McCain forgot why he toughed out six years in a Vietnam prison camp? Do you think he decided to screw over his fellow soldiers and officers? Do you think he hates America and all she stands for?

I do not.

As much as I detest his politics, I draw the line at thinking McCain would be as bad as any Democrat.

Just think about it.

RE: "I'm trying to read you... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "I'm trying to read your response but basically I think that the immigration issue was just an excuse for the Old Isolationists to bail on National Security Republicans and the military."
No, isolationism doesn't go with immigration: non sequitar. In fact, in my circles they are in the opposite camp. Two groups of the GOP favor immigration amnesty: "Compassionate Conservatives" and those that seek a cheap labor for big business.


RE: "An excuse to save face for the abysmal act you want to commit. i.e. that is to cut and run from the military effort one that you only supported as long as it was a "winner"."

You don't know me at all: I've never advocated that position - ever. You need to understand why the GOP is getting killed as the first step to correcting the problem.

Also, note that you cannot defend Senator McCain's attacks on the Constitution. What the man doesn't know about Constitution would appear to fill a library.

RE: "Well how did we lose t... (Below threshold)
kevino:

RE: "Well how did we lose the House and Senate?"

Asked and answered: "The Donks won because the opposition party was inept, corrupt, and didn't offer the American people anything more than to back an unpopular President - particularly to continue an unpopular war."

Mac Lorry is correct: the majority of the American people consider this a "protracted war". Yes, that is a bad position, but that's where we are. And yes, that comes from polls and talking to voters. It's the best data available. In particular, exit polls that explain why people voted the way they did are, generally, very good.

What are your opinions based on?

Deployed is not the same as... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

Deployed is not the same as having troops under fire and taking causalities, which is the nature of war. Look, we kept nuclear armed bombers in the air 24/7for forty years and you hardly ever heard a thing about it, but when young troops come home in body bags by the hundreds it gets that attention of the American people and that was the by far the biggest issue against the Republicans in 2006.

DJ:Do you think Jo... (Below threshold)
kevino:

DJ:

Do you think John McCain forgot why he toughed out six years in a Vietnam prison camp?
No.

Do you think he decided to screw over his fellow soldiers and officers?
No.

Do you think he hates America and all she stands for?
No, but I also think that there is a great deal about America that he just doesn't understand. For example, he doesn't hate the Constitution, but he doesn't seem to understand why the document has restrictions in it that get in his way. I'm sure he means well, but a lot of damage is done by well-meaning people without understanding.

Now let's ask the questions that should be asked:

1. What are the reasons for supporting McCain? In other words, without attacking the opposition, what is he for?
There are a couple, but not nearly enough to counter the liabilities.

2. Do I think that McCain would make a good President?
No. Hell no.

3. Do I think that McCain can solve the problems the country faces?
No. The country is heading toward a very bad fall. A lot of ignorant narcissists are about to get an education, and McCain can't stop it, might make it worse, and will be blamed for a lot of it.

DJD,'Pers... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJD,

'Personal Attacks', Mac? Hardly, just speaking to you in your language, seeing as you ducked the adult discussion.

I guess you've been blogging so long that you don't even know when you're resorting to personal attacks. If you did you would see your defense resorts to the same tactic you claim you are not engaging in. I guess that's funny in an ironic way.

You ask specific, but hypothetical questions. Well there's an infinite number of such questions so I choose to address the principle rather than the specific question. That's not ducking your questions, it's going well beyond answering them.

Given the political reality, McCain is simply going to be unable or unwilling to deliver on Supreme court nominations or on national defense. On issues the President could address such as global warming and the economy, McCain is as clueless as Clinton and Obama.

It's obvious from your own remarks that you don't actually support McCain, but rather you oppose Clinton and Obama. While that might be the logic of lots of people in the general election, it's a piss poor strategy for selecting the Republican nominee.

Mac, I noticed you still du... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Mac, I noticed you still duck and squirm when you can't answer the questions.

And if McCain gets the nomination, the only real question is whether he or the Donk is better for America.

Like a certain movie Colonel said Mac, you can't handle the truth. Which is, as much as many of us hate it, McCain is still better for America than either Obama or Hillary, and staying home out of spite only hurts the nation.

You have ignored my points and reasons from the start. You keep pretending I want McCain for the nomination. I made it quite clear he is my next to last choice for the GOP. But I also learn from History. Ford would have been better than Carter. Bush I would have been better than Clinton, so would Dole. None of those three Republicans was exactly who I wanted, but they would have been much better than what we got, and we got Carter and Clinton in part because bitter, self-centered hypocrites put party over country and ignored how they helped Liberals take power.

DJD,Mac, ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

DJD,

Mac, I noticed you still duck and squirm when you can't answer the questions.

I answered your questions and went way beyond by also explaining my reasoning.

And if McCain gets the nomination, the only real question is whether he or the Donk is better for America.

McCain may be better in the short term, but I look at the long term. For the nation to fundamentally change course it needs to reap what was sowen in 2006.

You have ignored my points and reasons from the start. You keep pretending I want McCain for the nomination.

You've been up too long and you've become delusional. In post 78 I said "It's obvious from your own remarks that you don't actually support McCain, but rather you oppose Clinton and Obama." Get some sleep and then read what I actually wrote.




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